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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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Our arfiiedl might was never stronger than it is to-day; our moral standing
in spite of some things that have happened;, is still high. But we are honest
neither with ourselves nor with Russia if we pretend that we can disinterest
ourselves in the fate of Poland.
" It is actually said that for the last month—whether or not because of
the change in Government I do not know—we have sent no further supplies
to the Underground Army in Poland. Can we afford to ignore this
organised army of 160,000 combatants against Germany, recognised by
ourselves three months ago as combatants ? I should like to know from the
right hon. Gentleman whether that statement is true, that we have taken
the occasion of the change in the Polish Government to refuse to go on
supplying these forces of the Polish Underground Army., who, against heavy
odds, are still fighting our battle. They will get arms from somewhere^,
if not from us. Is not such action calculated to drive them into the arms
of Germany. If His Majesty's Government do not now stand up for
Polish independence, they will force ail Central Europeans to rally round
Germany,, even in defeat, and to make Germany, as she claims to be
Europe's defender against the Eastern invader. Poland is the test-case for
European civilisation. If we desert Poland, Europe will desert us ; and that
will be our ruin. Frances a power by no means at the maximum of her
strength to-day, has hastened already to declare her concern in what goes
on in Eastern Europe, and she considers it of vital importance to her,,
Western Power though she is. The days are past when the Channel
served as—c as a moat . . . Against the envy of less happier lands.'
" V.I and V.2 and the progress of Aviation have made those sentiments
completely obsolete long ago. Even Lord Baldwin admitted, in 1936, that
the Rhine was our frontier, although, of course, he did nothing about it!
To-day our frontier is the Vistula; to-morrow it may be the Dniepr. In
the underground war in Germany, which will follow the defeat of her
regular armies in the field, the support of these 100 million people living
between Russia and Germany may well prove decisive. In any event, all
Europe is now so near that, whether we like it or not, we are both in and
of it; and that intimately. For our own material safety, therefore, as well
as for every moral resaon, such as honour between man and man and regard
for treaties and for the whole fabric of our European civilisation, I say to the
Government that the moment has come to say to our great Ally Russia that
she must treat Poland as what she is, a civilised, Christian, European nation,
and not as if she was a paltry Asiatic tribe of Uzbegs or Tajiks. Firm and
definite language now will save a deal of mounting troubles later on.
" Lastly, I will make a personal appeal to the Prime Minister. In many
Polish towns to-day the principal street is called Churchill Street, because
he is looked up to by the Poles as the saviour of Poland and of Europe. In
martyred Warsaw, during the last rising against the Germans, twenty barri-
cades in Churchill Street alone were soaked in Polish blood. That happened
because they believed that, whatever might happen to them, he at least
would see that in the end Poland was free. I cannot believe that, when
history comes to award his due to the greatest Englishman since Chatham,
it will say, * But he deserted Poland ! "
Mr. Ivor Thomas (Labour} : " Friendship with the Soviet Union is the
first essential for the existence of an independent Polish state ; and the friend-
ship of the Soviet Union, the United States, and ourselves is essential for
the maintenance of world peace . . . This Polish problem is the most in-
tractable in the whole field of our foreign relations at present. I have never
risen to speak with such a heavy heart as I do to-day. It is melancholy to*
think that, after more than five years of fighting, in a war which we entered